NEW YORK (AP) — Facing two match points against a beloved player whose name is already in the history books, Novak Djokovic jutted his jaw and flashed an ever-so-slight glimpse of a smile.
Might as well go down swinging, right?
So, he went for it.
He turned violently on a 108 mph serve from Roger Federer for a cross-court winner that barely nicked the line. The fans in Arthur Ashe Stadium, ready to explode for a Federer victory, instead found themselves taking a cue from Djokovic — who raised his hands, asking for a little love.
About 10 minutes later, those same fans were dancing with him as he boogied at center court to celebrate an epic U.S. Open semifinal win — one in which he dug out of a two-set hole, then saved two match points against Federer for the second straight year.
Top-seeded Djokovic won 6-7 (7), 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 Saturday to improve to 63-2 on the year. Next, he’ll face Andy Murray or Rafael Nadal, who played in the second semifinal, as he tries to become only the fifth man to win three Grand Slam titles in a year since the start of the Open era.
“It was definitely the biggest win of this year, one of the biggest wins of the career under the circumstances,” Djokovic said. “Roger was in control, playing better. I switched gears and played much better over three sets.”
(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.)